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Hindi Literature


Admission requirements

Having successfully finished 5482K2HI Hindi 4 or an equivalent level of language knowledge (Listening B1, Reading B2, Spoken Interaction B1, Spoken Production B1 and Writing B1). Please, contact the student advisor, Nicole A.N.M. van Os or Dr. A. Avtans, if you are interested in taking this course, but do NOT fulfill the abovementioned requirement.


This course introduces students to modern Hindi literary texts using a thematic approach. The course will cover literary texts on major themes in contemporary Hindi literature namely ‘women’s discourse’, ‘subaltern discourse’, ‘mobility narratives’, ‘old age in literature’, and others. These themes cover wider socio-cultural and political contexts of post-independence modern India. Class discussion will mainly focus on textual, narratological, discourse and stylistic analysis of selected texts but will also extend to their analysis using secondary and theoretical readings. The teaching material consists of selected texts in Hindi (stories or chapters from novels) together with chosen secondary and theoretical readings.

Course objectives

By the end of the course:

  • Students will be familiar with major themes in Hindi literature in post-independence India.

  • Students will have close acquaintance with some of the most important authors and works of modern Hindi literature.

  • Students will gain a better insight of using tools of textual and discourse analysis in order to understand the underlying socio-cultural and political fabric of modern Indian society.



Mode of instruction

Seminar (werkcollege).

Course Load

  • Seminar: 2 hours per week : 2 x 13 = 26 hours

  • Readings: 10 hours per week : 10 × 13 = 130 hours

  • Term Paper: 62 hours for each: 62 × 2 = 124 hours
    Total Study load – 280 hours

Assessment method

Review of Hindi Literature consists of following components:

  • 2 Term Papers (Assessment of text and critical analyses prepared at home by student): 80% of final grade

  • Attendance, Class Preparation and Class participation: 20% of final grade

Resit: not allowed


Blackboard is used for information and other learning resources.

Reading list

Primary Readings:

  • Rahi Masum Raza,Aadha Gaon, Rajkamal Prakashan, Delhi, 1966 [English Translation Available]

  • Alka Sarawagi, Kalikatha Via Bypass, Aadhar Prakashn, Panchkula, 2000 [English Translation Available]

  • Amrut Lal Nagar, Nachyo Bahut Gopal, Rajpal and Sons, Delhi, 2008

  • Kusum Viyogi, Charcit Dalit Kahaniyan, Lalit Prakashan, Delhi, 1997

  • Krishna Sobti, Samay Sargam, Rajkamal Prakshan, Delhi, 2000

  • Shrilal Shukla, raag darbari, Rajkamal Prakashan, Delhi, 1968.

  • Surendra Varma, _ mujhe caand caahiye_, Rajkamal Prakashan, Delhi, 1993

  • Usha Priyamvada, bhayaa kabir udaas, Rajkamal Prakashan, Delhi, 2007

  • Vinod Kumar Shukla, Naukar ki kamij, Rajkamal Prakashan, Delhi, 2008 [English Translation Available]

Secondary Readings:

  • Sunil Khilnani, The Idea of India, Hamish Hamilton, London, 1997

  • Patricia Uberoi, Freedom and Destiny: Gender, Family, and Popular Culture in India, Oxford University Press, New Delhi, 2006
    Thomas Timberg, Marwaris: From Traders to Industrialists, Vikas, Delhi, 1977

Note: Reading list may include different literary texts and secondary readings as per requirement.


Exchange and Study Abroad students, please see the Study in Leiden website for information on how to apply.

Contact information

A. Avtans